Toshiba Delivers Compact, Powerful, High-Performance Weather Radar



    -- World's First Operational Semiconductor-Based Weather Radar Goes into
Operation at Nagoya University --

    TOKYO, November 28 /CNW/ - Toshiba Corporation today announced that it
has developed and delivered the world's first operational weather radar system
that replaces electron tubes in the transmitter with a high-power
semiconductor module. The new radar is only one sixth the size of conventional
equipment but offers comparable output power, along with improved waveband
efficiency and enhanced features. The first unit of the new system has been
installed at the Hydrospheric Atmospheric Research Center at Nagoya
University, Japan. The Nagoya radar operates in the 9GHz frequency band
(X-band) and is the first solid-state weather radar to go into practical
operation.

    While the new weather radar is much more compact and offers much higher
performance than conventional systems, it maintains the same level of output
power by adopting a combination of gallium nitride (GaN) power field effect
transistors (FET) and pulse compression technology, which strengthens peak
output power. Implementation of fully digital data processing suppresses the
spurious level, allowing the frequency separation required for interference
suppression to be shortened to one fourth. This contributes to efficient use
of crowded radio frequencies.

    The new radar reinforces performance by adding innovative features: dual
polarization observation enhances the precision of rainfall estimation by
capturing the shape and size of raindrops and cloud; clear-air turbulence
observation detects very low levels of signal scattering, enabling to observe
air conditions including wind speed even in clear weather -- a very difficult
task for most weather radars.

    The new system has a modular structure for the antenna, transmitter and
received signal processor, which supports more flexible physical system layout
depending on the installation site and operation. As the new radar does not
use electron tubes, which have to be periodically replaced and disposed of, it
reduces environmental loads, meeting Toshiba's goal of maximizing the
eco-efficiency of its products and systems.

    Because of the limitation of bandwidth availability with increasing use
of radio wave frequency resources, steady demand for solid-state radars is
expected, as they can contribute to more efficient use of frequencies. Toshiba
will market the new high-power semiconductor-based weather radar in both 9GHz
band (X-band) and 5GHz band (C-band) versions, both in Japan and overseas,
including sales of individual modules that build the system.

    
    Product Outline
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Application          Weather observation (wind speed, rainfall and
                          others)
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Frequency            X-band (9.3GHz - 9.6GHz)
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Coverage             64km
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Operating direction  Azimuth: 0 - 360 degree
                         Elevation: -2 - 180 degree
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Signal propagation   Over 200W
     power
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Minimum installation 2.0m x 2.0m
     size
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    




For further information:

For further information: Toshiba Corporation Yuko Sugahara,
+81-3-3457-2105 Corporate Communications Office Fax: +81-3-5444-9202
http://www.toshiba.co.jp/contact/media.htm

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